Trump address on border security overshadowed by social media reaction to Dem ‘rebuttal’

Trump address on border security overshadowed by social media reaction to Dem ‘rebuttal’
Something shining through here, if not what they think. WaPo video

President Trump delivered a trenchant, effective address from the Oval Office on Tuesday night, the first of his presidency. He did not declare a state of emergency in the speech, but he appeared to lay the groundwork for such a declaration.

After the major networks deliberated anxiously on Monday whether to even air the speech — with CNN’s Don Lemon proposing to broadcast it only after a delay, so network newsrooms could “prebut” it — the seriousness and fine quality of the speech might even have been something of a letdown.

Rich Lowry of National Review gave it a thumbs up.

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The immediate attempts of mainstream media outlets to swarm with attack fact-checks seem to have left no mark at this point. Nothing sticky has emerged.

On the other hand, the brief “rebuttal” delivered in tandem by Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi has taken off like a rocket, whistling and whizzing over the political battlefield to the sound of snorts and laughter from social media users.

It’s doubtful that anyone could tell you what Schumer and Pelosi said. But the way they looked – sour, rigid, staged, “creepy” – has launched a thousand memes.  Comparing their opening shot to the “twins in the hallway” scene from The Shining is just one of the ways social media users have been entertaining themselves in the hours since.

The quips just keep on coming.

Tweep Comfortably Smug recognizes an opportunity, and quickly started a “Chuck and Nancy memes thread”:

It’s growing rapidly, and includes multiple versions of Senator Schumer’s prophetic prebuttal from days ago.

Comparisons of Schumer and Pelosi to Gomez and Morticia Addams abound, as do memes with head or face transplants photoshopped onto Grant Woods’s painting American Gothic.  With the hilarity bursting out everywhere, even the Guardian‘s straight-faced treatment comes off as a nervous joke.

And it’s just extra fuel for a quizzical eyebrow to see Pelosi and Schumer watching themselves in their star turn afterward.

Trump did manage to reestablish some media momentum of his own by tweeting after his address that it was a “very interesting experience!” Perhaps he can’t be left alone with a box of matches just yet.

But the Washington Post probably got the last word Tuesday night, with its reminder that the American people and the subset of them that uses social media can never hope to attain the heights of shameless unseriousness now daily demonstrated by the legacy, mainstream media.

In some situations, being overshadowed is the better part of leadership. All in all, the lesson from Tuesday night seemed to be that it’s a good thing Trump has the lead on border security.

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LU Staff

LU Staff

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